Poor weather now appears India’s most significant obstacle in getting the 10 wickets it needs to win the fourth and final test and achieve its first victory at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 40 years.
After rain had delayed play for four hours on Sunday, Kuldeep Yadav took his second five-wicket haul in tests as Australia was bowled out for 300 to trail India by 322 runs after the first innings.
With a first series win in Australia now all but confirmed, India captain Virat Kohli enforced the follow-on, the first time Australia had been required to follow-on at home since 1988 against England.
India became the first team to have the option of asking Australia to follow on twice in a home summer as the hosts’ list of unwanted records grew even longer.
It came after India also amassed a 292-run first-innings lead in Melbourne last week, only on that occasion they opted to bat again themselves in the 137-run flogging.
Regardless, it marks the first time a touring team has had the option to enforce the follow on twice in one summer in Australia.
Australia was six without loss in its second innings, with Marcus Harris unbeaten on two and Usman Khawaja on four, as an early tea was taken due to bad light.
Unfortunately for India, the light did not improve and no further play was possible in the evening session, allowing Australia’s batsmen some respite in a series where it has been comprehensively outplayed by their counterparts.
Earlier Sunday, it took India just six balls to strike after the long rain delay when Mohammed Shami (2-58) bowled Pat Cummins for 25 with a ball that kept low.Peter Handscomb added nine runs to his overnight score before he was bowled for 37 to become Jasprit’s Bumrah’s first wicket of the match and reduce Australia to 257-8.
Kuldeep (5-99) then trapped Nathan Lyon for no score.